Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

“Salvation was bought not by Jesus’ fist, but by His nail-pierced hands; not by muscle but by love; not by vengeance but by forgiveness; not by force but by sacrifice. Jesus Christ our Lord surrendered in order that He might win; He
destroyed His enemies by dying for them and conquered death by allowing death to conquer Him.” S. D. Gordon


  • It’s time to meet with Jesus! The One who died to save you–who paid the price for your sin and cares deeply for you. Make room in your heart for Him, as you reach for your Bible, journal, and pen.
  • Read Romans 5 slowly, allowing the Holy Spirit to illuminate His Word. Write Romans 5:8-11 in your journal.

A question seems to surface in inquisitive minds around Easter time, beckoning us to come nearer to the beautiful cross of Jesus: Why did He have to die? Why would a heavenly Father send His own Son to earth as a man to suffer severe, brutal humiliation by death on a cross?

God’s Word supplies us with the answer to this good question. In Genesis (the very first book in the Bible), you probably remember the story of Adam and Eve–the first humans ever created. They were instructed by God not to eat from one tree in the Garden of Eden, “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” yet they were deceived by Satan and disobeyed. Sadly, this brought sin and evil into our world; it opened the door for all of us humans to sin. A rebellion toward perfection caused a huge rift between sinful man and the holy God.

This sin created a separation that could not be ignored. God originally created man perfect and sinless in the Garden, but when Adam and Eve disobeyed and broke His command, it marred their sinless state. Therefore, He had to punish them. What righteous judge does not punish law-breakers? Overlooking sin would make a Holy God unjust. Romans 6:23a says, “The wages [penalty] of sin is death.” According to this verse, God chose death to be the consequence of sin.

All of us have sinned. Isaiah 64:6b says, “And all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” Ever since Adam and Eve sinned, every human being on earth has guiltily broken God’s law or command in some way or another. Our own goodness can never compare to God’s holiness and righteousness. As it says in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” No matter how hard we try in our sinful state, we continually fall short of the standard God put in place. For a more in-depth study, read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, as it contains a list of sins that break God’s law and declares that unrighteousness will not enter the kingdom of God.

Interestingly, in the Old Testament God set up a system for His people to follow, in order to take away the guilt of sin. Yet this system was temporary. Whenever anyone fell short of His standard, an animal had to die and blood had to be shed to take away that specific sin. Hebrews 9:22 states that without shedding of blood there is no remission (of sin). Hebrews 10:4 (NLT) says clearly “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.” This faulty system was only a shadow of a much greater, perfect plan that was to come later.

Friend, Jesus died for this very reason. It was God’s perfect plan for us to be reconciled to Him. God’s great love for us compelled Him to send Jesus, His perfect Son who was sinless in every way, on our behalf. No other person could take away sin—only God. This one last sacrifice was made for us by the sinless Lamb of God (John 1:29) so that everyone could be spared judgment. He didn’t want us to die and face punishment, but while we were still living in sin, He died for us. He took our place of punishment! 2 Corinthians 5:21 implies that Jesus became sin for us so that we could become His righteousness. Hallelujah! He took our sinful place by building a bridge with His body and blood, making provision for us to reach God’s standard again!

John 3:16 (KJV) says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus came to take away your sin, my friend. He came to save the whole world, and yet the choice is up to every individual whether to believe or reject Him. God doesn’t force anything on anyone, but freely gives us the dignity to choose. It is His utmost desire for every human on earth to accept the gift of salvation through Jesus and be spared from eternal death.

If you place your faith in Jesus by truly believing in God’s perfect Lamb and sacrifice today, you can have fellowship with the living God! When you say “yes” to Jesus, He will come to live in your innermost being and make you righteous. He will change your sinful desires and give you the ability to do His will as you choose to surrender to His Spirit who dwells in you. Meditate on this good news!

Blessings and Love,

Mari Jo

Questions to Ponder

  • Why did Jesus have to die? (Read Hebrews chapter 9 for a deeper study)
  • According to 2 Corinthians 5:21, what did Jesus become?
  • Was the sacrifice of Jesus enough? Explain.
  • Do I believe, and will I receive God’s gift of salvation? Why, or why not?

Faith-Filled Idea

If you believe and have received Jesus as your personal Savior, reach out to one person you know who is not a believer this Easter season. Tell them about Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, or invite them to your Easter service at church. Keep your eyes open to those around you who may not yet know the goodness of God!



Mari Jo Mast
Latest posts by Mari Jo Mast (see all)

12 Comments on “Why Did Jesus Have to Die?”

  1. I still can hardly believe that the God of the universe knew before the creation of the world that He would have to send His son to die for me. It is truly unfathomable and so very encouraging all at the same time!

  2. The questions were so helpful. For some reason this question hit me hard: “Was the sacrifice of Jesus enough?” The simple truths are sometimes the hardest for me to grasp. I realize that His sacrifice is enough to save me from death, but Jesus’s sacrifice is enough to save me from all sin and evil. In reading this, I realized that my battling a negative self-image is (in a way) rejecting Jesus’s power over that area.

  3. Mari Jo this study was so good for my heart. It presented the gospel in such a conclusive way! It really challenges me to be more ready to share the gospel especially at Easter time. I have non believing guests visiting and after reading this -I am more prayerful about the opportunity to share about the saving blood of Jesus!

  4. Thank you so much MariJo for explaining Christ’s plan and sacrifice in such a beautiful way!! I want to share this with my oldest son during this Easter season. Praise God that He made a way for us to come to Him, rest in Him, and follow Him. It’s all in His strength and power, not our own. He is so good to us, isn’t He?!

  5. “Our own goodness can never compare to God’s holiness and righteousness. ” This is a profound statement because it discredits the idea that most people are naturally good. Christians believe no one is good without Jesus, but how do we explain those who don’t follow Jesus and do good? In the grander scheme of life, it doesn’t matter because our own goodness can never compare to God’s holiness and righteousness. We have been comparing our goodness, when we ought to be comparing our holiness. Excellent!

    1. Thank you Daphne for sharing your truthful input! Amen! I am so thankful for the finished work of the cross, the body and blood of Jesus that was sacrified. When we realize how impossible it is to reach God’s holiness, his standard, we have nothing left to do but worship Him! What a loving Savior!

  6. This is so wonderful Mari Jo! I love your perspective!! This Easter has been so meaningful for because of all of the Help Club writer’s studies!! I am so thankful for you all!

    1. Thanks Deb, I’m glad it ministered to you! God’s Word is so powerful and helps us understand His beautiful heart for us. So so grateful!!

  7. Praise Jesus! We all need Him and could never change our sinful ways without His sacrifice. As we draw closer to Him, our sinful desires lessen and our ways allign in Him. That is so beautiful. Thanks Mari Jo! 🙂

  8. Thank you Mari Jo for diving into this topic. We cannot stand on our faith without knowing why Jesus had to die. So thankful that God had a plan all along and for our Savior Jesus!

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